Quite a name for quite a man. But to most he was simply Barry. Mr. Huie to a few. And "Dad" to two.
No man is just one thing, and my father was no different. He was a provider, a protector, a playmate, a disciplinarian,... and my first crush. Yes, I was daddy's little girl. But as I grew, so did his definition. He was a math whiz and a chess champion. He was a poet, a painter and photographer. He was an opinionated and passionate debater. He was a surveyor and a draftsman.
He was a voracious learner with many varied interests. He could talk for hours about politics, music, and history - pick a topic. He truly had a beautiful mind. But still he was more than all this.
Bend down low and let me tell you what I know.
He learned to read early and read through the contents of the Central Kingston library by the age of 8. He earned a scholarship to Kingston College, and beyond expanding his education, this was a defining moment in his life.
I don't know what is in the water on the school campus, but the KC community has some of the deepest and most enduring bonds I've ever witnessed. Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest; The Brave May Fall But Never Yield.
Years past graduation and thousands of miles from Jamaica, Dad's loyalty to the KC family would continue via the Kingston College Old Boys' Association. Dad was one of the founding members and served on the Executive in many capacities, including President for five years.
Like all families, there were conflicts and sacrifices made. My sister's birthday celebrations were often scheduled around the annual dinner-dance which also happened to fall in early November. But, Dad was loyal to his core and to family above all else.
He made sure that my sister and I had a clear sense of our identity, despite the confusing limbs of the family tree. We went to Sunday Dim Sum, not Sunday Brunch; it was white rice Monday to Friday, rice 'n peas on the weekend; and Ackee remains a Christmas tradition.
Despite only sharing one parent in common, he never referred to a sibling as 'step' anything. He had brothers and he had sisters. Period. Full stop. The details didn't matter, they were family. And if you needed anything, he would do what he could to help.
Helping and being of service to others was just what he did. For years he dedicated many hours a week running the Driftwood community programs, establishing the first such outreach program in the city. And it all started because a friend asked him to help coach basketball, which he'd never done before, but he said 'Yes'.
Bringing people together was a key motivation in his life. It was behind his contribution to forming The Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations. It was the impetus in his creating Soccerfest - that and a mad passion for soccer.
But it wasn't only in larger scale community efforts that he gave. He was always ready to give a drive to the airport or the doctor's or paint a room or prepare your taxes. And he would offer before you could ask, but rest assure if you asked, he'd say yes.
He was a complex man with a simple soul.
Dad strived to find meaning and context in everything. So remember that his story began with the start of World War II. Jamaica was still a colony then and expected to contribute to England's war efforts. This was the atmosphere of his earliest years, and yet it was never a detail he harped on. Instead it inspired an innate sense of responsibility to help others to make an effort, and do your part for the good of all.
He was so many things to many people, I can't presume to list them all but the sum of all his parts are reflected in this room: friend, classmate, partner, mentor, brother, cousin, uncle, grandpa, and Dad.
Over the past weeks some of you have shared memories with me and the recurring theme is his heart. His big and ever-giving heart. And that is the essence of Barry Huie, a loyal and generous heart.
His mortal heart may beat no more, but the spirit of his heart will not yield. It beats on in our memories and our stories. And as you share them, you share his spirit.
Barrington Wintrose Huie was born on December 29, 1939 and passed on to the next life on June 20, 2012 after a heroic struggle with cancer in Toronto, Canada surrounded by his daughters Kimberly and Lisa, and his loving partner Adlin McFarlane. He is also survived by his two grandsons Elijah and Josiah.